Directed by Issa López, Tigers Are Not Afraid is only her third movie but already she has established herself as a unique voice in genre filmmaking. Tigers Are Not Afraid takes a child’s-eye view of the daily struggle to survive; one that mixes a dark fable about the Mexican drug war, and the ghosts that haunt them, both metaphorically and literally. The film received the Best Horror Director Award at Fantastic Fest back in September.
The film follows Estrella, a young girl whose mother mysteriously goes missing. With nowhere else to turn, she attempts to find companionship, and food, with a group of boys who have also lost their families. The boys live on a roof, steal to survive, and find solace in each other. That’s the horrible, real-world setting of Lopez’s film. A world where gangsters rule with their trigger fingers and trade not only in drugs but in human beings too. A world where moms, dads, brothers, and sisters can just disappear at any moment, leaving the survivors to fend for themselves.
Check out the trailer for Tigers Are Not Afraid below:
Guillermo del Toro’s name has also come up as an obvious influence on the film (or as iO9 put it, “the Best Guillermo del Toro Movie He Never Made”) but Tigers Are Not Afraid is a beautiful and, at times painful movie to watch all on its own. It’s an affecting story and its delicate character details create an emblematic, ambitiously realized film; solidifying López as an exciting new voice in the new wave of Mexican cinema.
The film has been making the rounds on the festival circuit all 2017, and has garnered some pretty notable fans over its run, including prolific author (and GEEK favorite) Stephen King, who sang the film’s praises via Twitter:
TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID, directed by Issa Lopez: this is one terrific film, both tough and touching. Two minutes in, I was under its spell.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 11, 2017
There is no word yet on when Tigers Are Not Afraid will be released on home media here in North America, and its festival run has already cleared, but look for it early in the new year!